From an entertainment standpoint, this was a really fun game to watch. Both teams combined for a grand total of seventy-seven shots! I told you guys yesterday that the Oilers had to be careful with Evgeni Malkin right? Did the Oilers listen? They did not and because of that they allowed a two goal lead on the road evaporate into nothing care of Evgeni Malkin’s two goals, the guy had 11 shots in total for the night! Lucky for them Justin Schultz was back… Err I mean Anders Nilsson was on top of his game.
- So Jordan Eberle started the game on the third line with Letestu and Hendricks eh? I can only imagine what Coach McLellan had to say to both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ebs after the Detroit game… I’d say by the looks of both their games in Pittsburgh that the only one that took it to heart was Nuge. Eberle looked flat and not a lot of puck luck was going his way. He finished the game with 1 shot… For a guy that has lead the team in scoring the last few seasons, he’s not doing himself any favors right now. Shoulder still bugging him? Looked pretty good on the shootout winner…
- Ninja Nuge on the other hand had a couple of very RNH-like rushes up the ice that made you wonder where those have been for the last 10 games. He had an apple, three hits and was 54% on the faceoff dot! That’s better!
- Great to see Draisaitl and Hall get back on the board tonight! I give most of the credit to the Penguins defence and lack of back checking forwards on that goal though. They were damn near on top of their goalie when Purcell passed the puck over to Hall and then allowed him to walk through all of them to get another chance to which Neon Leon buried the rebound of.
- It’s good to see the bottom sixers finally putting some points up on the board. Pakarinen’s brace versus the Red Wings was tight and Korpikoski’s PP tip-in off of Sekera’s point shot versus the pens is something the Oilers have been begging for for sometime now.
- Jujhar Khaira made his Oilers debut tonight. Not a whole lot happened for him tonight apart from a very nice open ice check and a tidy interception that nearly led to a goal. He was also the Oilers best player in CF% and SF%.
- Paka had five hits on the pens to boot. So he’s starting to gain a bit more confidence as the season continues.
- Speaking of Scandinavians, Oscar Klefbom nearly had a penalty shot after stripping Sidney Crosby of the puck in overtime and he lead the team in TOI with over 25 minutes!
- Justin Schultz did actually play tonight and it’s probably a good thing that he wasn’t apparent in the highlights as it’s usually not the kind of play we’d like to re-watch. But nearly 18 minutes in his return and no bad miscues is acceptable. Now let’s see if he can start ramping up that play and doing something to increase his trade value. Or are we at that point where if we trade him he’ll turn into another Jeff Petry or Tom Gilbert or Eric Brewer or any other good defenseman the Oilers have had only to trade him off to another team right before he peaks.
- Benoit Pouliot shouldn’t be tasked with taking his own penalty shots anymore… What a wasteful opportunity it was. Kudos for McLellan for showing faith in the veteran but I’d have been more than ok if someone with more pedigree on breakaways was asked to shoot.
- The Oilers were out of the NHL’s basement for a short time but Colorado won their game… Boo! Another win versus the Leafs tomorrow should see them crawl out of last place though. But the Leafs are a tough bunch these days and you can be sure the Oilers won’t be seeing Jonathan Bernier in that one.
I’m going to leave you with Evgeni Malkin’s goal of the year candidate. Revel in this beauty and try not to pick on Mark Fayne too much for being giffed here. Malkin is a rare breed in today’s NHL in that he can take over a game all by himself.
Malkin goal number 1 pic.twitter.com/6l21y58WD6
— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 29, 2015